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Academic Paper


Title: Communication patterns between internationally adopted children and their mothers: Implications for language development
Author: K. Gauthier
Institution: McGill University
Author: Fred Genesee
Institution: McGill University
Author: M. E. Dubois
Institution: Concordia University
Author: K. Kasparian
Institution: McGill University
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Abstract: This study presents findings on patterns of communication between internationally adopted children and their mothers in order to better understand the nature of these interactions and their influence on language learning. We examined maternal language use and joint attention behaviors of mothers and their children in 21 mother–child pairs: 10 pairs included children adopted from China living in francophone families, and 11 included francophone children living with their biological families; all were matched for socioeconomic status, sex, and age. The children were, on average, 15 months of age at initial testing when they were video-taped with their mothers for purposes of describing the mothers’ language use and the mothers’ and children's joint attention behaviors. Vocabulary development was assessed at 15 and again at 20 months of age using the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory. The results support the conclusion that adoptive mothers play an active role in promoting and maintaining joint attention and that the redirecting style they used the most and that correlated with their children's later vocabulary development contrasts with the following style that correlates with vocabulary development in nonadopted children raised in mainstream North American families.

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This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 34, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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